#11 PRINCETON LOOKS FOR HISTORIC WIN VS. HISTORIC RIVAL SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT THE YALE BOWL
It’s not like Princeton needs extra motivation for a Yale game. This is the longest-running rivalry in the Ivy League, and the second-longest in all of Division I, and it has produced its fair share of upsets and classics over several generations.
That being said … there is plenty on the line for Princeton this Saturday. The Tigers can clinch at least a share of the Ivy League championship, as well as its first 9-0 start since 1964, and could break into the national Top 10 with a victory in the 141st meeting between Princeton and Yale.
The reigning Ivy League champion Bulldogs, who are still mathematically in the championship race this fall, have won three of their last four games, including a wild 46-16 win over Brown last weekend. That game was dominated by freshman quarterback Griffin O’Connor, who completed 30 of 38 passes for 436 yards and four touchdowns in his collegiate debut. Yale also has one of the league’s best rushing offenses, and Princeton-like pair of dominant receivers, and a defense that has held three straight opponents to 17 or fewer points.
Princeton-Yale is special, regardless of records, but four of the last five meetings have featured one team in the thick of the Ivy League race. That won’t change this Saturday.
|Week 9: #11 Princeton (8-0, 5-0 Ivy) at Yale (5-3, 3-2 Ivy)|
|Date • Time • Location||Nov. 10, 2018 • 12:30 pm • New Haven, Conn. • Yale Bowl|
|Tickets||Yale Ticket Office|
|Radio||103.3 FM l Listen Live on the TuneIn App|
|Game Coverage||Live Stats l @PUTigerFootball l @PUTigers|
|All-Time Series||Yale leads 77-53-10|
|Last Meeting • Current Streak||Yale 35, PRINCETON 31 (2017) l Yale 1|
|Princeton Information||Note Packet (PDF) l Roster l Schedule l Statistics|
|Yale Information||Roster l Schedule l Statistics|
|Ivy League||Standings l Statistics l Weekly Release|
|Last Week||PRINCETON 14, Dartmouth 9 l YALE 46, Brown 16|
|Next Week||Penn at Princeton • Nov. 17, 2018 • 1 pm • ESPN+|
Lights, Camera, Action
The 11th-ranked Princeton Tigers head to New Haven, Conn., this Saturday for a 12:30 pm showdown with its most historic rival, Yale. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+, with Jack Ford and Josh Hess providing the commentary. You can also listen to Cody Chrusciel and Craig Sachson live on TuneIn Radio and WPRB 103.3 FM.
Senior safety Ben Ellis joined the latest Original Eleven podcast to discuss all aspects of the 14-9 comeback win, including the crucial second-quarter stand, the feeling of playing in that type of game, and the trust that never disappeared in his offensive teammates. He also gave a quick look ahead to the upcoming showdown between Princeton and Yale in New Haven. Also, Craig Sachson and Cody Chrusciel broke down several areas of the Dartmouth win, including the incredible differences between the 2017 and 2018 games, some key moments on both sides of the ball, and just how much that game lived up to the hype. You can listen below.
Movin’ On Up
Princeton (8-0, 5-0 Ivy) is currently ranked 11th in the AFCA FCS Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, and it is 13th in the FCS Stats Media Poll. This is the highest Princeton has been ranked in either poll since Division I-AA/FCS level began in 1978.
A victory over Yale would clinch at least a share of Princeton’s 12th Ivy League championship. It would be the second title in three years, a feat that Princeton hasn’t accomplished since 1964/1966, as well as its third in six years, which hasn’t happened since 1964/1966/1969.
This is the first time Princeton has been 8-0 since 1995, and it is only the eighth time in the last 100 years that Princeton has been 8-0. Princeton has lost its last two games after 8-0 starts (1995, 1965) , including a 1995 loss to Yale; the Tigers tied Dartmouth the next weekend to win the outright Ivy League championship. Princeton did win its first six games after 8-0 starts, including wins at the Yale Bowl in both 1933 and 1935.
Princeton and Yale is the second-longest active rivalry in Division I football, trailing only Lehigh-Lafayette. This will be the 141st meeting between the two schools, and the 51st at the Yale Bowl. Yale leads the all-time series 77-53-10, and it has won 28 of the first 50 meetings at the Bowl. Princeton won the last meeting in 2016, and the two teams have split the last two, four, and six meetings there.
Princeton won a battle of unbeatens against #24 Dartmouth last weekend, and it remains one of seven Division I programs undefeated in 2018, as well as one of only three at the FCS level (North Dakota State and Colgate are the other two). The four FBS unbeatens are #1 Alabama, #2 Clemson, #3 Notre Dame and #11 Central Florida.
Princeton has scored 369 points this season, which is 7th most in Ivy League history with two games remaining in the season. The Ivy record is 437 points, set by the 2013 Princeton Tigers during their Ivy League championship season. That team averaged 43.7 points per game, while the current team is averaging 46.1 points per game.
The next touchdown Princeton scores will move the Tigers to fourth-most on the Ivy list.
The Defense Doesn’t Rest
On the flip side, the Princeton defense has allowed only 73 points this season after allowing 127 in only three games last November. Princeton ranks #1 in the Ivy League in scoring defense (9.1), total defense (262.0 yards/game), and pass defense (158.4 yards/game), and it ranks second in rushing defense (103.6 yards/game).
At the FCS national level, Princeton ranks #2 in scoring defense and #5 in total defense.
Lovett Or Leave It
John Lovett, the 2016 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year and three-time Ivy League Player of the Week this season, has played in 24 games since the start of the 2015 season; Princeton is 20-4 in those games, including 16-2 in the last 18. Lovett has only played in one Yale game, a 31-3 road victory at the Yale Bowl. He rushed for the final three touchdowns in that game, which helped keep the Tigers on pace to win the Ivy League title.
We’re Going Streaking
John Lovett has scored a rushing touchdown in 18 straight games, which is both a Princeton record and only one shy of the Ivy League record, held by Yale’s Mike McLeod (2006-2008). Lovett is second in Princeton history with 39 rushing touchdowns; he moved past Quinn Epperly last weekend with the game-winning score against Dartmouth.
What A Catch
Senior receiver Jesper Horsted already owns the Princeton record for touchdown catches (24), and he is only 10 catches shy of Kevin Guthrie’s program record for career receptions (193).
Horsted also has an outside chance at the Princeton record for career receiving yards; he needs 325 over the last two games to catch Derek Graham.
The Longest Yard
Jesper Horsted’s longest career touchdown catch came in the 2017 game against Yale, when he opened the scoring with an 88-yard touchdown catch late in the first quarter of a 35-31 Bulldog win at Powers Field.
Princeton and Yale combine to have the Ivy League’s Top 4 receivers in both receptions and receiving yards per game this season.
|Reed Klubnik (Yale)||1st, 7.5||1st, 102.2|
|Jesper Horsted (Princeton)||2nd, 7.4||2nd, 102.1|
|JP Shohfi (Yale)||3rd, 6.6||3rd, 90.1|
|Stephen Carlson (Princeton)||4th, 5.0||4th, 74.2|
Both Yale and Princeton have been the best Ivy League offenses this season at converting third downs. Yale leads the league with a 53.3% conversion rate, while Princeton is second (and fourth nationally) at 50.5%.
A Perfect 10
Princeton is allowing only 9.1 points per game, which is second only to Colgate at the FCS level. The Tigers have allowed 10 or fewer points in seven of eight games this season, and the defense didn’t allow a single point to Dartmouth following the Big Green’s opening drive last weekend.
In the fourth quarter of the victory over Dartmouth, Princeton allowed a total of seven yards. In Princeton’s two closest games this season (Harvard and Dartmouth), the Tiger defense has taken the field in the second half protecting a lead of less than seven points five different times. Princeton didn’t allow a point on any of them and never allowed the ball past its own 40-yard-line.
Limiting The Big Plays
Princeton hasn’t allowed a rush of more than 20 yards since the first quarter of the Harvard game, and prior to that, it hadn’t allowed one since a Week 2 win over Monmouth. The Tigers have also allowed a pass of greater than 30 yards in only one (Harvard) of their last six games.
I’ll Take That
Junior TJ Floyd ranks second in the NCAA with .8 interceptions per game this season (six in eight games), and he trails only Dartmouth’s Isiah Swann (seven in eight games). Floyd has five of his interceptions in Princeton’s five Ivy games, including two apiece in wins over Columbia and Cornell.
Floyd’s six interceptions this fall are the most for any Princeton player since Jay McCareins had nine during his 2015 All-America season. He is currently tied for sixth-most in single-season history; the Princeton record holder is former Superman/Ripley’s star Dean Cain, who has 12 during the 1987 season.
Princeton ranks 12 nationally with 3.0 sacks per game this season, though no Tiger player ranks individually in the FCS Top 50. Senior Mike Wagner, who led the NCAA in sacks last season before suffering an injury, leads Princeton with 4.5 this fall; he had the biggest sack of his career to end Dartmouth’s second-to-last of the game.
Tackling The Issue
Princeton has put together the top-ranked defense in the Ivy League while not having anybody ranked inside the Ivy Top 10 in tackles. The inside linebacker and senior captain duo of Mark Fossati (54 tackles) and Tom Johnson (51) ranks 12th and 13th respectively, while defensive backs Ben Ellis (42) and Delan Stallworth (39) rank 18th and 20th.
Sophomore placekicker Nicolas Ramos was named the Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week following the 66-0 win over Cornell, when he went 9-for-9 on extra points and added a 37-yard field goal right before halftime. Ramos is three extra points shy of the modern single-season record, currently held by Nolan Bieck (45, 2013).
Head coach Bob Surace, a three-time finalist for FCS Coach of the Year honors and one of two men to win an Ivy League title as both a coach and player, went over the .500 mark as a Princeton head coach for the first time in his career with the win over Brown. That is made all the more remarkable by the fact that Surace went 2-20 in his first 22 games at his alma mater.
Seth DeValve ’16 became Princeton’s highest-drafted player in the modern era when the Cleveland Browns selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He entered his third season with 70 catches and three touchdowns for the Browns, where he plays tight end. Chad Kanoff ’18, the reigning Ivy Offensive Player of the Year, signed a contract with the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason and made the team’s practice squad. Earlier this season, Caraun Reid ’14 signed a contract with the Dallas Cowboys, and he had a sack in the Monday Night game against Tennessee.
The new partnership between the Ivy League and ESPN means that all Princeton home games, as well as Ivy League road games, will be streamed live on ESPN+; that partnership extends throughout all Princeton sports, meaning the majority of Princeton home games will be streamed at ESPN+. A monthly ($4.99) or yearly ($49.99) subscription is less expensive than the Ivy League Network subscription would be, and it gives you access to the full platform of live events and other features of ESPN+.
There are two weekly podcasts during the football season for Princeton fans. The “Original Eleven” returns for its second season, and it will be available at the beginning of each game week (typically Monday, Tuesday at the latest) to recap the previous game and chat with a member of the team. The new “Bob Surace Show” will be available Thursday nights as a replay of the radio show held each earlier that night at Alchemist & Barrister in Princeton. You can have both podcasts downloaded automatically — as well as the full library of Princeton Athletics podcasts — by subscribing to “Princeton Tigers.”
The Crystal Ball, Part 1
Princeton will close out the 2018 season next Saturday on Powers Field when it takes on Penn at 1 pm. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+, and tickets are still available on GoPrincetonTigers.com. This is the first time Princeton will close a season against its closest Ivy rival since 1885, when captain Charles M. DeCamp led the Tigers to a 57-0 victory over Penn.
The Crystal Ball, Part 2
Next year’s Princeton-Dartmouth game will be a centerpiece of the 150th anniversary of college football, and it will be played Nov. 9, 2019 at Yankee Stadium. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale around the date of the national championship game this January.